Mon-Wed and Fri-Sat, 11am-7pm; Thu, 11am-8pm; Sun, noon-5pm
A, C, E at 14th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Canadian designer Tia Cibani unveiled her first New York Ports 1961 flagship in February 2009, joining the elite club of hushed, gallerylike meatpacking district boutiques that counts Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, and Carlos Miele among its ranks. Designed by architect Michael Gabellini, the open, airy space is laid out like an extravagant forest clearing: The clothing hangs on twisted nickel bars, and the afternoon sunlight scatters rainbows as it pours through the glass walls. Cibani excels at creating an earthy, whimsical aesthetic, turning out tasteful collections inspired by a different country each season. Though the classy creations are more befitting a cocktail party than a costume party, her hallmark is unusual materials—one colorful halter top is even draped in deflated balloons. Everything in the shop is eminently touchable, from dresses, skirts, and tops crafted from burlap, mesh, metallic fabrics, or velvety bleached suede, to jewelry decked with twigs, bark, rubber, and fur.